Mark 8:34–38 (NASB 95)
34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Examine / Explain
Peter had just rebuked Jesus for revealing that his mind was still in an earthly kingdom. Peter had become a stumbling block instead of a foundation for God’s kingdom. Jesus turns to the crowd to make a point before the disciples. He tells the crowd to truly follow His teaching it is going to cost something. Also, there is nothing temporal that can be exchanged for the salvation of their souls. Believing in Jesus meant public displays of suffering that ended in glory for God.
How do I apply this to my life?
How’s my cross-carrying? How is denial of self in my life right now? Am I tuned in to the Father and following Him? You know, not that I want a whole lot of persecution. But my life is pretty easy to live out my faith. There is no threat of losing my life for being a believer. There may be those who disagree and there are those who get in shouting matches in other places, but I have a lot of freedom to be a Christ-follower. My biggest obstacle is rejection. Overcoming the fear of not being accepted for proclaiming the gospel. I put out these journals, and I do my podcast, but do I do proclamation justice? Am I being “successful” in my claim of being a Christ-follower?
What is my response?
Father, what is in the way? What am I not lying down to pick up my cross? What things am I putting before you in my life? I need your help to surrender every area of my life to You. I pray that I see these things and I can let go of them. I want to get to a place where I can focus on the eternal more than the temporal. I want Your kingdom to be glorified and not my own. Amen.